Two more episodes left of the Simon Amstell era. Two big ones.
A few notable guests here. The Guest Bill is Dermot O’Leary, TV presenter and…guy who hasn’t been on since 2000. Arlene Phillips is also here, as is Rob Webb, David Mitchell’s sparring partner. But…more importantly…Dappy, from N-Dubz, has somehow returned to Buzzcocks…and I have no idea how Simon’s gonna deal with this.
Also, Keith Murray from We Are Scientists is also here. So yeah.
The runner for this episode is that, in an effort to clean up the profanities, Simon brings out an adorable kitten and says that with every curse word, he will suffer with his life.
Phill on Cliff Richard, to Arlene: “Did he do what you said?”
Arlene: “I tried…to get him to do what I wanted.”
Phill: “Of course, as a woman, that would be tricky…”
Keith says he’s never heard of Cliff.
Simon: “Now that you have, do you wish that you got Cliff and we got Elvis?”
Phill: “Well, I wish *CLIFF* was dead…”
Arlene, still on Cliff: “I think there are many people in the world, who would like to know his secret…”
Phill: “Well, I think most of us do.”
Arlene: “If I could, I’d tell the doctors to start and my ankles and not stop.”
Simon: “You’re right, your ankles do look shit.”
He then realizes what he’s done, and looks at the cat down below the desk.
Dermot: “I think you should start with one of his paws.”
He does, and you hear an offscreen frightened mew.
Simon asks if there’s a rivalry between Dermot and Arlene.
Dermot: “We’ve seen each other around, but…when you’re a jet, you’re a jet and all…”
Keith: “…I ACTUALLY UNDERSTOOD THAT!”
After Simon reads from Dappy’s bio
Dappy: “You know, some of the things you say come off as very sarcastic.”
Dermot: “He has elements of sarcasm about him, but I believe when he congratulated you about the MoBo and the Gold Disk”
Simon: “No, I really mean it.”
Dappy: “Thank you, Simon.”
Simon: “See, one day I’ll get really good at this sincerity thing, and they’ll hand me the big money…”
Simon, to Dermot: “I’m reluctant even to bring this up, but what happened to poor Kate Thornton?”
There’s an audible ‘Oooh’ from the audience.
Simon: “Some people are shocked I’ve brought this up, some people have already forgotten she’s existed.”
Dermot: “It’s like when you ask someone…who’s daughter you’re gonna marry. Like, you know you’re gonna marry them but you sort of want to get permission, so I called her up and she was very gracious, and lovely about it.”
Rob: “Is that why Russell Brand was ringing Andrew Sachs?”
SAVAGE. And this was right in the thick of the controversy, too.
Simon: “Everyone has their pre-gig rituals. Interestingly enough, every since Dermot took over presenting the X-Factor, before each show starts, Kate Thornton downs a half-bottle of gin, and a fistful of painkillers.”
Simon: “JUST A JOKE! It’s you every week dancing on HER grave!”
Arlene, after having no idea about Phill’s 2nd intro: “Before I went on, my daughter said to me “you shouldn’t do this, because you’re not gonna get one of ’em right.” And that’s true, because-”
Keith: “But you lived up to your daughter’s expectations, which is pretty nice…”
Earlier in the episode, Simon even gave Arlene a paddle to spank Simon with. After a joke about Cheryl Cole (“isn’t it funny that we’ve all forgotten what a horrible thug she is?”), Dermot goes over, and threatens to take Simon “out to the sheds”…only to break the paddle entirely.
Phill’s ID Parade involves guessing the drummer from Slade. Phill has been seen with Dave Hill AND Noddy Holder. Phill is going to win.
Simon’s name for #3 of ‘Pass the Dutchie’ is “Pass the gin, O’Leary’s on again…”
Simon goes back to Dermot about X Factor
Simon: “My favorite bit about the final…is that you get all those auditionees-”
Dermot: ‘AW, YEAH THAT’S THE BEST BIT!”
Simon: “Like, the most mentally ill ones. What, do you call up their respective institutions?”
Phill: “For the especially mad ones, Louis goes out in a LandRover with a dart gun. It’s like Jurassic Park.”
The Musical Youth ID Parade comes to a standstill. Rob and Dermot like #1, especially his ‘calming eyes’, but Dappy’s convinced it’s #3, even saying “if you guys guess one and it’s 3, I’m walking off.”
Sure enough, 3 steps forward, and Dappy jokes like he’s going to pull a Preston…but in reality he just goes over and hi-five/bro-hugs the Musical Youth member. As crazy as he is, Dappy’s been pretty cool this episode, kind of dialed back.
Next Lines: “I don’t wanna be pushy-pushy.”
Dermot, completely straight-faced: “I…would just like some pussy-pussy.”
Simon: “Correct. N-Dubz.”
He fives the hell out of Dermot. This is fantastic.
Overall: Not perfect, but a fun show with some nice moments. Obviously the dynamic between the dueling variety show personalities, Dermot and Arlene, was great. Arlene was having a ball, and Dermot was a great guest host, especially in putting up with Simon. Though he wasn’t the greatest connector, except in small cases with Rob, and Dappy just ambushing him. Keith and Rob had nice moments, if smaller. Dappy was surprisingly more composed this time, and had a lot less material for Simon to work with. Fine show, even if the middle was a bit dry.
Guest Host Rating: 8.5/10. If it means anything, Dermot, you showed a ton more personality than Ryan Seacrest.
Best Regular: Phill
Best Guest: Arlene
Best Runner: Simon shooting the kitten.